You can never get enough ribs, right? I tend to think of ribs as a summer weekend dish, with the grill smoking and taking hours to slowly coax tenderness and porky goodness out of them. But with summer months away, it’s still possible to enjoy ribs, even on a weeknight! Just pull out that slow cooker, grab some cool (and totally available) ingredients from the Asian section of your grocery store and get started.
One quick slow cooker tip for you though — no matter how delicious the aroma, do NOT lift the lid during the cooking process unless directed in the recipe. Each time you lift that lid you add approximately 30 minutes to your cooking time.
Slow Cooker Hawaiian-Style Ribs
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 1/2 to 6 hours (slow cooker)
Yield: 6 servings (4 ribs per serving)
- 2 racks pork back ribs (2 1/2 to 3 pounds each), cut into 3- or 4-rib sections
- 2 cups hoisin sauce*
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil*
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted*
In medium bowl, combine hoisin sauce, pineapple juice, ginger and sesame oil. Arrange ribs in a slow cooker and pour half of the sauce mixture over ribs. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until ribs are very tender. Set remaining sauce aside in refrigerator.
About 1/2 hour before ribs are done, remove sauce from refrigerator, to bring it to room temperature.
Arrange ribs on plates or a platter and brush both sides with some of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve remaining sauce at the table.
* You can easily find hoisin sauce and sesame oil in the ethnic or Asian section of most major supermarkets.
Serve these ribs in the Hawaiian plate lunch style, with a scoop of white rice, macaroni salad, or slaw on the side. They’d also be good alongside a simple carrot salad or a few slices of grilled pineapple.
Recipe courtesy of the National Pork Board